How to Negotiate Your Salary Like a Pro

Ms 99to1percent

Blogging about Personal Finance along with a little touch of humor. Immigrant who started from the bottom and now I’m here…to tell my story, inspire and learn from others. Paid off $40K in student loans before graduating. CPA. Saved a $100K emergency fund in my 20’s. Hopping to pay off $500K+ mortgage within 5 years at 39. Hopping to become financially independent at 45. Happily married. Mom of 1.

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24 responses

  1. I love that this advice is more than “just ask your boss.” There are so many variables here that people fail to consider. For example, do you even merit a raise right now? It’s all about communicating and growing your value to your employer.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have also started taking my career & finances a little bit more seriously ever since I started following your blog. You guys rock!

    L, yes ask for a better raise. You have nothing to lose. Good luck!

    • Good to hear that. Stick around for some more advice.

    • L says:

      Thank you so much Mr and Ms 99To1Percent for this excellent post (and also for reaching out to other finance bloggers)! It’s sad that before I never thought of negotiating (and as SomeRanddomGuyOnline says in their comment – you just received what you did, and that was that!) So glad I’m taking the right baby steps.

      For starters, immediately upon reading your post, I reached out to HR (but somehow was not surprised to hear they don’t provide salary ranges/bands 🙂 ). However, I’ve scheduled a 1:1 meeting with my manager to negotiate in the next couple of days (which will give me two days to prepare my “speech”). Luckily, thanks to your other post I had put a hold on “the First 90 days” book in the library which I have now received and plan to read it cover to cover.

      I’m definitely planning to accept (even though I’m actively looking for jobs outside the company) as it will help my future negotiation as well. I will keep you all posted of what happens! I definitely am focused on trying to increase my income, and am glad to found your blog.

      • Hi L,

        Good to hear you have taken some concrete steps already and that you will be reading the “First 90 days” book. Report back and let us know how the negotiations went. Good luck buddy.

    • L says:

      Thanks Jennifer!

  3. Great advice. I think a big part of negotiating is doing your research and knowing your worth and value to the company.

    I never negotiated my salary/raises for my previous jobs simply because I didn’t know any better at the time. I just thought you got what you got, and that was it.

  4. This is the exact process I have used over the last 8 years since graduating college. I set a goal of making it to the C-Suite by the time I was 30.

    In order to achieve this I had to be very aggressive in managing my career and learned very early on that no one care more about your career than you. And those that ask for more money, make more money.

    It’s important, no critical, that you have a rare and valuable skill set. But that’s not enough, you also have to be good at marketing that skill set to your boss and throughout the organization in a non arrogant way. You have to be so good that they can’t ignore you.

    One thing I would add to the list is identifying the key players in the organization that could supercharge your career. Do what ever you have to to get on their radar and help them get what they want. But be sure if these people are above your boss, that you make your boss look good.

    In 8 years, following a similar formula to the above, with a few slight additions, I made it to the C-Suite in February of this year at 30 years old. Additionally, I have increased my compensation from a starting salary of $52,000 to almost $250K.

    I am currently preparing for my 2018 ask, with a goal of hitting $300K.

    Cheers,

    Dom

  5. Cubert says:

    As a hiring manager who deals with this stuff all the time and also had a long period of being underpaid for my job band, I’d argue NOT to negotiate at this stage. You can certainly voice your feelings about wanting more equity moving forward. To a manager, negotiating on a promotion increase is like looking a gift horse in the mouth. You CAN work to reach equity through subsequent annual reviews. Worse case, seek employment at another company. The truth is, you’ll get what you ultimately deserve if you continue to remind your manager of your desire for equity while at the same time you’re racking up achievements and getting key players to sing your praises. Now, go get sh*t done! 🙂

    • Hi Cubert,

      Thanks for providing a different point of view. However, in our point of view, it’s always easier to negotiate NOW than to try to catch up later. Once they know they can lowball you, they will most likely always lowball you. Of course negotiating has to be done in a respectful, tactful way, making sure you do not offend the manager/employer. And whether or not you get what you want, you have to show your appreciation.

  6. I definitely agree you should negotiate. I wrote an article on salary negotiation an in my research I found that barely any offers are ever yanked from perspective employees and virtually none for established employees. Lay out why you’re worth and then play your cards 🙂

  7. Alexis says:

    Negotiating my salary was something I was way too uncomfortable to do back when I had a regular job. I would wait way longer than I should’ve to negotiate, due to not feeling like I was good enough for a salary or that I would be turned down. This mindset is brutal! Luckily, I’m a blogger now and don’t have to worry about that, but I sometimes feel regretful for not thinking highly enough of myself and waiting around for raises.

    • Hi Alexis,

      Thanks for stopping by. Good to hear you have turned blogging into a full-time gig. I think that’s every blogger’s dream.
      Negotiation skills can also come in handy when it comes to running a successful blog like yours. keep up the good work!

  8. Cody says:

    Negotiating a salary is so important and I didn’t appreciate how important it is early in your career (when you’re setting the trajectory for the rest of your earnings!) I also think the advice to consider negotiating benefits is excellent. Sometimes getting the perks/flexibility/time off you want is more important than the money!

    • Hi Cody,

      Thanks for your input. Yes, it’s best to start negotiating from the start, and not leave any money on the table. The differences can add up to hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions over the course of one’s career.

  9. Jing says:

    This was so helpful! I feel the internet does not have enough advice about how to negotiate in a job you’re already at. I often feel like the only option is to jump ship. Definitely bookmarking this one!

    • Hi Jing,

      Nothing wrong with jumping ship, but I always try to get at least one promotion (and a salary raise) before jumping ship. Showing some advancement(s) within a company looks good on a resume.

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  1. November 15, 2017

    […] Always negotiate your salary. See our tips here on how to negotiate your salary like a pro. […]

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